Ombre Brows vs Microblading: How to Pick Between Them
Main Image – Image – Nikoletta/Adobe
When it comes to achieving those perfect arches, there are two techniques that top the list – ombre brows and microblading.
The microblading craze took the celeb world by storm, with the likes of Cara Delevigne, Lily Collins, Kim Kardashian, and Megan Fox going under the (*teeny-tiny*) blade. And, let’s face it, they all have pretty great brows.
But ombre brows are a softer take on the microblading trend. Faded ends gradually intensify to a stunning crescendo, making it hard to tell whether you’ve been blessed with brilliant brows or if it’s makeup magic. The trend has been gradually getting bigger and better over the years and, if you don’t believe us, just take a look back at Mila Kunis and Rihanna’s old brows…!
So let’s get the tea.
We called on Laura Kay, a leading permanent makeup expert and the founder of Laura Kay London, to find out everything you need to know about ombre brows and microblading, as well as the differences between these two top brow trends.
What’s the difference between ombre eyebrows and microblading?
Ombre brows and microblading are both type of brow tattoo, but they’re applied differently. Ombre brows involve using a tattooing machine to place pigment into the skin, while microblading involves using a sharp tool to create hair-like cuts to the skin while depositing pigment into it.
Kay confirms, “Ombre brows involve a powdered brow technique that results in a softly shaded pencil-like appearance for permanent eyebrows.
“Whereas microblading uses a fine hair stroke technique to enhance the brows shape and enhance the natural appearance of the brows. With a talented practitioner the results look extremely realistic.”
“The key difference is the ombre brows utilise a shading technique, resulting in a more defined and noticeable appearance. Ombre brows are often bolder and can be confused with makeup application. Whereas microblading is intrinsic work,” she adds.
As a personal fan of microblading, I can vividly remember my mum coming home from her first appointment, showing off her perfectly shaped brows that were a striking difference from her former blonde, barely visible pair!
You can see the difference microblading makes in TikToker @raychillartistry’s video here.
With ombre brows meanwhile, the shading starts very lightly at the front of the brow and gradually gets darker through the arch and tail.
You can see the slightly bolder look offered by them in TikToker @browsbylaurenashley’s video.
Before And After Omb?e Brows ? #ombrebrows #ombre #brows #pmu #pmuartist #pmubrows #pmuworld #tattoo #semipermanentmakeup #cosmetic #cosmetictattoo #tattooartist #tattoos #skin #hair #beauty #Manhattan #newyork #newyorkcity #nyc #NY #fyp??viral #fypage #fyp? #fyp #fy #booktoday #booknow #beautytok #uppereastside #uppereast #uppereastsidenyc #ues
How long do they last?
“Ombre brows can last up to 3 years,” says Kay. However, as with any permanent makeup treatment, the time it lasts can depend on a number of factors, including skin type, your skincare routine and how well you followed the aftercare guidance.
Meanwhile, microblading lasts from 12 to 18 months. The length of your desired result is one factor to take into account when choosing between the two options.
Is ombre less painful than microblading?
Microblading involves inserting pigment under your skin using a needle to give you well-defined, natural-looking eyebrows.
Kay says, “Every person’s pain threshold is different. However, normally patients will find ombre brows less painful because it is more of a shading application on the skin whereas with microblading the pigment is slightly deeper, but still only to the epidermis layer of the skin.
“Most people will feel a scratchy sensation on their skin from the blade.”
Ombre brows vs microblading: How to pick
Choosing between ombre brows and microblading will come down to factors like how long you need the results to last and what sort of look you’re going for.
If you want longer last results, ombre brows may be for you. Kay explains, “Usually ombre brows last longer than microblading.”
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for defined brows, ombre brows may also be your best option. “Ombre brows are popular with the Gen-Z generation because of the defined powdered look,” says Kay.
If you’re looking for natural-looking, fuller brows though, you’ll probably prefer microblading. Kay explains, “Normally as women mature they prefer a microblading technique as, through ageing and menopause, women can often suffer from some hair loss which is why microblading is a brilliant option.”
Remember though that both microblading and ombre brows involve making small cuts to the skin and therefore carry risks, including swelling, bruising, allergic reaction, infection, and occasionally more serious complications. That’s why you should only ever get your brows done by a qualified expert.
As Kay explains, “Anyone undertaking any permanent makeup treatment just needs to research the different types before to ensure they get the right one for them.”
Basically, ombre brows is a technique that is created using a machine that applies tiny dots of pigment to the epidermis layer of the skin, creating a powdered look that intensifies at the tail of the brow.
Microblading is the art of creating beautiful brush strokes that mimic brow hairs, and it’s a great option for those who have thinning brows.
While both create a more filled-out-looking brow, ombre brows are more suited to those who want definition and shading in their brows, while microblading is more effective on those with fewer hairs.
Neither is without risk though, so always make sure to go to a qualified professional and follow their aftercare instructions following your appointment to get the best results.
Meet the expert
Laura Kay is a leading permanent makeup expert and the founder of Laura Kay London. With over 20 years of experience in the cosmetic industry, Laura opened her academy training programme in 2015, teaching her world-class skills to the next generation of permanent makeup artists.